Top 20 No 4: Ash

One of those bands for me who just consistently keep putting proper pop songs out without much recognition. Okay, maybe that’s not fair as they’ve had two no 1 albums and their last album reached the UK top 20 in May. But you can’t really imagine a time when they’re not making music any more – you just kind of feel that they would go on forever.

Ash at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC, May 2005. Complete with Charlotte Hatherley and some accidental camera blur which I am sure I did deliberately

I’ve caught them a few times live, mostly at festivals (Reading, Latitude etc) but also on their A-Z tour in 2009 at the Corrib Rest in Queen’s Park (or was it Kilburn? In any case it was definitely the Q leg!) and also, unusually, at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City in 2005.

I’d gone over to New York with my family to create a holiday although my first priority was to get tickets for Spamalot, which I did (great show – but Times Square not as exciting as I’d expected). I then managed to get tickets for Ash and the Bravery who were co-headlining a tour. Three things I remember about that gig:

– the air being so clean. This was my first experience of watching a gig in a town with a smoking ban
– everyone being so cool that they really didn’t want to push to the front even though the place was pretty much full up. Being from Essex, I had no such qualms
– my first and last experience with Brooklyn Lager. It’s ubiquitous in the UK now, but I’d never seen it before that night. And after a couple of mouthfuls, I really wish I hadn’t seen it at all

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ash a couple of times over the years, including most recently at the first RiZE Festival in Chelmsford, and can confirm that they are all thoroughly lovely people.

1. Angel Interceptor
2. Burn Baby Burn
3. Kung Fu
4. Shining Light
5. Girl from Mars
6. Return of White Rabbit
7. Buzzkill
8. Goldfinger
9. Oh Yeah
10. A Life Less Ordinary
11. Jesus Says
12. Jack Names the Planets
13. Sometimes
14. There’s a Star
15. Orpheus
16. You Can’t Have It All
17. Annabel
18. Candy
19. Clones
20. Envy

China and North Korea 2018

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